UK's on the right track.. US next(hah)?

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by ganjaphish, Jul 10, 2002.

  1. LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will respond this week to a dramatic surge in cannabis use by easing laws and allowing millions of marijuana users to smoke without fear of arrest.

    Pressure from police, medical experts and politicians for Britain to take a less punitive approach has swayed Home Secretary David Blunkett, who is expected Wednesday to downgrade it to a low risk category C drug.

    The downgrade -- making cannabis a Class C rather than Class B drug -- will put the drug in the same category as anabolic steroids and growth hormones and make possessing small amounts of it or smoking it in private a non-arrestable offense.

    A report published in late 2001 showed cannabis as the most commonly used illicit drug in the European Union, with at least one in 10 adults in the 15-nation group having used it.

    The proportion of adults who had used cannabis ranged from 10 percent in Finland to 20-25 percent in Britain, Denmark, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain.

    But Blunkett, already in trouble over spiraling crime figures and bitter disputes over police reform, is anxious to portray the move not as an inevitable softening of attitudes but as a refocusing of resources onto harder drugs and onto dealers.

    Alongside his announcement to downgrade cannabis, he is also expected to stress that the drug has not and will not be legalized, and announce plans to double the maximum sentence for dealing in the drug to 10 years from five.

    But his "carrot and stick" approach has already run up against criticism and drawn accusations of "mixed messages."

    Oliver Letwin, the opposition Conservative home affairs spokesman, mocked the supposed tougher sentencing, saying that since cannabis was being downgraded from Class B, which has a maximum 14-year sentence, to Class A, which has a five-year maximum sentence, the effect would be a reduction anyway.

    "Will he explain ... how a move from a 14-year maximum sentence to a 10-year maximum sentence constitutes doubling sentences for cannabis dealer?" Letwin asked Blunkett in parliament Monday.

    For others, the cannabis downgrade is not enough.

    A recent parliamentary committee report urged the government to radically reshape drug policy and move toward a Dutch-style approach by downgrading cannabis, relaxing rules on ecstasy and offering heroin addicts free fixes in injecting rooms.

    "Drugs policy in this country has been failing for decades," David Cameron, an opposition Conservative member of the committee said when the report was published.

    A home office spokeswoman said Blunkett's statement would be "a full response" to the committee's report, although Blunkett dismissed their suggestion that ecstasy should be downgraded from Class A to Class B drug.

    An estimated 5 million people in Britain regularly use cannabis and government data show its use has risen sharply over the past two decades.

    Long-term use of the drug among people aged between 20 to 24 in England and Wales rose to 52 percent in 2000 from 12 percent in 1981.

    Researchers said in March that relaxing cannabis laws could save Britain around 50 million pounds ($77.1 million) a year and free up the equivalent of 500 police officers.

    A study by South Bank University's Criminal Policy Research Unit found that around 69,000 people were cautioned or convicted for cannabis possession in 1999, with police spending an average of four hours on each offense.

  2. Tony Blair .

    He da man !

    Party in England on Thursday anyone ?

    UsA ?........decriminalize ?..................never happen...........

    too backwards in their least the beliefs of the current ruling class and their paid for politicians.

    Britts.........I'm am humbled by your progress . To be able to elect politicians who are intelligent ,articulate ,and in touch with the real pulse of it's peoples needs........what can I say.........


  3. Hopefully this gives the Canadian gov't something to think about. If the US can't bully the UK around on this issue, they can't do it to Canada either. It's the US who needs friends these days, so maybe Canada can take a stand on this issue and some others in exchange for co-operation in the "war on terror".

    You can feel a real anti-US sentiment growing, and I think this is a great opportunity for other "civilized" countries to show some leadership.
  4. Yeah, America's capitalism to the deepest extreme is finally getting some of the negative attention it needs. There's just too many crazy greed-driven humans out there. re-election shit...........damn greed
  5. Haarlem, the Netherlands, July 11, 2002.

    Blunkett’s Law supports organised crime !

    New Law creates monopoly for streetdealers.

    You do not have to be a professor to see that the announced change in Law on Cannabis will not have any effect on the decrease of crime in the UK.
    The intended goal of the reclassification of cannabis to Class C, was to get more PC’s available to fight organised crime, who have the trade in all drugs in a firm grip for decades, with all involved threats and dangers to society.

    Under the new Cannabislaw, wich will become active in July, 2003, you should no longer be arrested for smoking a joint, in the privacy of your home, but not with underaged children present. Yet, the penalty for possessing or using cannabis for social purposes, without a clear limited quantity, will be 2 years imprisonment, if the Police chooses to prosecute a potsmoker, with or without being arrested for it.
    Blunkett & Co intend to go tougher on people that supply others with cannabis, the penalty for forfilling the UK’s demand for cannabis, is increased to a maximum of 14 years, or is it 10, that did not become quite clear.
    Cannabiscafe’s or –shops will not be allowed under the new Law, as they are supposed to be suppliers of cannabis, and will be punished likewise : 10 – 14 years imprisonment for those who would !

    This implicates that the government has left no room for doubt, the distribution of cannabis will not be regulated through licensed outlets.
    There is no special Law on growing cannabis, but they will probably be considered as suppliers of cannabis : 10 – 14 years imprisonment.
    These penalties will stop a lot of entrepeneurs-to-be from carrying out their plans to open a cannabisshop in their area, and I can hardly blame them !

    Organised crime, the intended target of Blunkett’s efforts of the last 9 months or so, will not be impressed by the stiff cannabispenalties, wich will dissolve in the penalties they might get on being caught for trafficking and trading in Class A and B drugs as well.
    I guess the gangs that are in the ABC trade for decades now, feel like Blunkett gave them some kind of Branche-protection, by ruling out any possible competition, growers and eventual cannabisshops. The potsmoker, who should benefit from Blunkett’s move, will still have to buy their low-grade cannabis from shady figures that are also involved in dealing Class A and B substances, from a different pocket.
    Many cannabisgrowers will stop growing, enlarging the marketshare for organised crime, who will import more low grade soapbar-hash to pollute their customers.
    The use of cannabis in general will increase, not because more people will start using it, but the present smokers will start using it more often, the threat of prosecution is taken of their mind. Another increase in business for organised crime, who will be very pleased with their monopoly on the UK drugmarket.

    Blunkett and all his commissions must have thought of this, I suppose, it will surely be part of some special tactics, if not, they messed up big time !
    Governments made prohibition, prohibition made organised crime, now, a new form of prohibition is boosting organised crime…

    Besides this major flaw, there is another downside, the new Law will cause a lot of arrests of people that supply or grow cannabis, if the plan works out. Where is the government going to put all the growers and suppliers of cannabis that it intends to arrest, and lock up for years, the UK prisonsystem is a few days away from being on full capacity. This will cost a lot of money, more than the 50 million pounds saved by no longer prosecuting the personal use of cannabis.

    There can only be one conclusion, the upcoming change of Law will not have the intended effect, on the contrary, it benefits organised crime, and will cost the community more than ever before, it does seem to create a lot of jobs though, for prison wards…

    Coffeeshops, excluded in Blunkett’s scheme, however, would separate the trade in cannabis from the trade in Class A and B drugs, and would offer good quality cannabis, for a fair price, in a safe enviroment They would also employ staff , pay businessrates, rent, and all other duties involved, wich would make the money end back up in the UK society, without taking anything out of it.
    Instead of responding to the need of cannabisoutlets, the UK will have to start building more prisons, out of a budget that will not be able to cover it.

    The taxpayer looses, as usual.

    Nol van Schaik,
    With Colin Davies, co-founder of the Dutch Experience coffeeshop, Stockport, UK.
  6. Is Canada following in the UK's footsteps ?
    It surely looks that way, cannabis-suppliers will also be considered enemies of the state there, like in the UK new ' system'.


    Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)

    Sun Flashes


    Justice Minister Martin Cauchon is considering relaxing Canada's marijuana laws to make possession punishable by a fine instead of a prison sentence, the Canadian Press has learned. But Cauchon's plans do not include making the drug legal, said highly placed sources in the Justice Department. Trafficking would continue to draw harsher punishments, the sources said.
  7. How the law will work
    Where are we exactly with this cannabis thing?

    The drug will be downgraded from Class B to a Class C by July 2003. The police are to expand Brixton's controversial "seize and warn" policy across London by the autumn.

    Does that mean I can sit on the steps of Brixton police station and skin up?

    No. It will still be illegal to possess cannabis and users can still be arrested for "aggravating factors" such as the involvement of children or "flagrant disregard" of the law. For simple possession the police are more likely to seize the drug and issue a warning.

    What happens if they do?

    If you are arrested and charged you will face a maximum prison sentence of two years.

    So, if I've got my stash in my pocket I'm fine?

    As long as nobody knows it is there and it's not a large stash.

    What if I buy it with friends?

    The maximum penalty for dealing is to be increased from five to 14 years. Mr Blunkett specifically rejected calls for a lesser crime of "social dealing".

    How much would I have to have on me before police thought I was a dealer?

    That depends. In reality you could probably get away with an ounce, which is worth about £100, but not if you were also caught carrying weighing scales or large amounts of cash.

    When will it be OK to take it around the rest of the UK?

    It will not be OK to have a stash of anything anywhere, and you will have to wait until next July before the downgrading of cannabis comes into effect throughout the UK.

    What about other drugs?

    Cannabis has been downgraded to allow police to concentrate on class A drug dealers – heroin, crack, cocaine and ecstasy.

    Andrew Johnson
  8. man. now the British are more fucking stupid than my fucking govt! They can't even make up their mind as to what the law's text is or something. And for Christ's sake, isn't a fucking tax waste to still have the Royal family? I mean, they just sit there gettin rich because of heredity. thats fuckin primitve
  9. I just read in the Buffalo News that Canada IS planning on following in Britain's footsteps. But what do I care, since I can't cross the border anyway? Laws are lenient enough (in NY anyway)..Most I ever got was a $50 fine, and a 6 month ACD. If the shit ever actually became legal, oh boy. We'd all be screwed, cuz it'd be monitored, and all that other good stuff...I'd hate to have a price hike just because the government wants to stick their greedy little paws in the business. But, I digress. I'm ramblin' cuz I'm pretty well toasted...nicely toasted.
  10. It sounds like a great step forward to give a guy a $50 fine instead of a jail sentence (and in a way, it is a baby step forward).

    But if this mentality ever comes to the U.S. it will be used as nothing more than a money-making gimmick because NONE of the anti-marijuana gestapo will be dismantled. If anything, it will only be enhanced to get even more money.

    solution? para-legalize and license it.

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